The Grand Duchy's parking infrastructure is equivalent to an area 253 times the size of the Glacis. On Thursday, Minister for Mobility François Bausch presented a comprehensive national parking strategy aimed at addressing the pressing issues surrounding parking in the Grand Duchy.
Considering that parking spaces fall under the jurisdiction of local authorities, the Ministry refrained from issuing strict regulations. Instead, it provided a set of recommendations for local authorities to use as a toolbox.
In his introductory remarks, Bausch highlighted the "vicious circle" associated with parking. With drivers constantly in search of affordable parking options, spaces are being created even along major roads.
Consequently, this leads to a scarcity of room for bus lanes, safe cycling paths, and pleasant pavements. As viable alternatives to cars remain limited, authorities are compelled to allocate additional parking spaces for each new building permit. Economic growth is coupled with an increase in traffic jams, perpetuating the cycle as more and more motorists vie for cheap parking spaces.
A parking strip to Madrid
Luxembourg currently boasts an impressive 893,000 authorised parking spaces, distributed across various categories.
These include 271,000 spaces along roads, 325,000 open-air spaces away from roads, 205,000 underground spaces within buildings, and 92,000 surface spaces on buildings.
A majority of these parking spaces, approximately 67%, are situated in open-air locations, predominantly along roadsides. Notably, about 30% of the spaces are concentrated along roadsides, equivalent to a parking strip stretching from Luxembourg to Stockholm, Naples, or Madrid.
The remaining 37% are located away from roads and include spaces such as those at Glacis or authorised spaces in private driveways. Collectively, these parking spaces span an area 253 times the size of Glacis.
Smarter parking, not eliminating it
Bausch stressed that the primary focus of the parking strategy is long-term parking spaces, clarifying that the intention is not to eliminate parking altogether. Rather, the aim is to enhance parking infrastructure in a more appealing and efficient manner, enabling a different organisation of road space.
The Minister underscored the interconnected nature of parking and affordable housing challenges and proposed greater flexibility within the General Development Plans (PAGs).
Bausch suggested reducing the mandatory requirement for parking spaces or granting residents more freedom of choice, stating that individuals should be able to have the number of parking spaces that suit their needs. This flexibility is deemed critical as it would significantly impact parking availability, housing options, and prices.
The newly introduced parking strategy serves as both an evaluation of the current situation and a blueprint for potential improvements that can enhance the overall quality of life. To provide comprehensive details and information, a dedicated website has been launched at www.parken.lu.
In a final announcement, the Minister disclosed that the Saint-Esprit car park is scheduled to reopen to the public at the end of the year.